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Mary Irvine: Relaxing at the Carrick Spa

Haven’t been in touch for a while. Have been heavily involved in the Alzheimer project about which I have previously written. We are now close to completion and a final report is in the pipeline. Also been involved with several ongoing minor projects as well as trying to find time to crack on with an account of my sojourn in Greece. Am  off to Greece at the end of February for four weeks to work on these ‘memoirs’ - of Spetses - written in fictionalised form, I hasten to add!

However, I did recently take a day off and I haven’t felt so clean and relaxed for many a day…

A Relaxing Day at the Carrick Spa

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I arrived shortly before noon. A pleasant general reception on the ground floor from where I was courteously directed to the first floor spa reception. Welcomed and booked in I was given a short tour of the facilities and shown how the lockers worked. Did get it wrong and opened one already in use. Great pair of boots in there, but definitely not my size! The owner of the boots hadn’t locked it properly. Future visitors, take note.

For the next two hours I availed myself of the several opportunities to relax. Experiencing each of the facilities from the tepidarium up to the roof-top hot tub where in
comfortable warmth I could absorb the calmness emanating from the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Of the nine individual experiences available it is difficult to isolate a favourite as each provided a different feeling of well-being – perhaps the aroma room, the hammer or the hydro pool. My least favourite was the infra-red room but that was more because of the claustrophobic atmosphere I personally felt. It didn’t have, for obvious reasons, the windows on the scenery that some of the other rooms had.

Outside each room a notice was displayed, clearly stating the temperatures and the benefits of that experience, with advice on how long to spend there.

The various showers, advised between each experience, were an added bonus. I liked the tropical one.

Then it was time for the ‘light lunch’ described in my package. In a pleasant dining room I was offered a two course choice from an extensive menu, well thought out as it catered for eclectic tastes. I chose the King prawns and squid in batter with a Vietnamese sauce and lime. It was freshly cooked, the batter crisp throughout and a portion that would normally have sufficed for my normal lunch - if not dinner! But it was a special day so, on to the main choice- Shetland salmon, again a huge portion, with mussels served on a bed of baby new potatoes, cooked to perfection (not over-done),in a tarragon sauce. A meal to savour, indeed. I was then offered tea or coffee. On requesting filter coffee I was told it wasn’t available in the dining room but if I waited one would be sent up for me. Well, I wasn’t in a hurry but before you could spell cappuccino a large continental sized dish of coffee appeared.

Lizzie and Matthew were polite, efficient and friendly, making the lunch that little bit extra special. Compliments also to the staff who prepared the food. There were some thirty-five minutes before my treatment. I had deliberately not taken any distractions in the form of book/kindle, mobile so I chose to return to the unoccupied tepidarium where I could meditate in sight of the wonderful Scottish scenery, even though it was raining.

I then strolled along to the waiting area where I was met by Anna who led me to a well-planned, welcoming treatment room where a few minutes conversation confirmed my requirements.  A detoxifying, full body massage with oil and salt was followed by a hot stone back massage. Just over an hour. An in-house shower removed the salt before the latter. The treatment was completed sympathetically, professionally and efficiently. Anna then left me to ‘revive’ in my own time. Resisting the temptation to go to sleep I did eventually leave the room to find Anna waiting with a cup of ginger tea and ready to escort me to the dimly-lit quiet room where I spent another thirty minutes on a comfortable recliner enjoying the refreshing tea.

All in all a day to remember and hopefully one that will be repeated - soon.

The Carrick Spa at the Cameron House, Loch Lomond,

Cameron House, on Loch Lomond, Alexandria, G83 8QZ

Winter Words Festival Pitlochry Festival Theatre 12 – 20 February 2016
Trip to London, November, 2016
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Avatar of PatByrne

Publisher of Pat’s Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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